Booktopia has been placed into Voluntary Administration. Orders have been temporarily suspended, whilst the process for the recapitalisation of Booktopia and/or sale of its business is completed, following which services may be re-established. All enquiries from creditors, including customers with outstanding gift cards and orders and placed prior to 3 July 2024, please visit
Add free shipping to your order with these great books
Arabesques : A Tale of Double Lives - Robert Dessaix


A Tale of Double Lives

By: Robert Dessaix

Paperback | 1 July 2017 | Edition Number 2

At a Glance



RRP $24.99



In Stock and Aims to ship next day
One Sunday afternoon in a secluded valley in Normandy, Robert Dessaix chanced upon the castle where the 20th-century French writer André Gide spent his childhood. Recalling the excitement he felt when he first read Gide as a teenager, Dessaix sets off to recapture what it was that once drew him so strongly to this enigmatic figure.

On a magic carpet ride from Lisbon to the edge of the Sahara, from Paris to the south of France and Algiers, he takes us to the places where the Nobel Prize winning author, in ways still scandalous to modern sensibilities, lived out his unconventional ideas about love, marriage, sexuality and religion.

About the Author

Robert Dessaix is a writer of fiction, autobiography and the occasional essay. From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travellers in history, as well as regular programs on language.

His best-known books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother's Disgrace; the novels Night Letters and Corfu; a collection of essays and short stories (and so forth); and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love and Arabesques. In 2012 he published the collection of originally spoken pieces As I Was Saying, and in 2014 the meditation What Days Are For. A full-time writer since 1995, Robert Dessaix lives in Hobart, Tasmania.
Industry Reviews
‘Magical and inviting … these arabesques afford the reader inordinate pleasure.’ Livres-Hebdo

‘Surrender to the ravishments first, get lost, skid with thrilled indecisiveness across the mosaic tile of each page. Venture out with the author onto the roads and dizzying crossroads he negotiates as he plots a course between past and present, old haunts and new horizons, in the lands of Araby …’ The Age

More in Travel & Holidays

Canada : Lonely Planet Travel Guide : 16th Edition - Lonely Planet Travel Guide
Sri Lanka : Lonely Planet Travel Guide : 15th Edition - Lonely Planet Travel Guide
Undiscovered Victoria : A Locals' Guide to Finding Adventure - One Hour Out

RRP $45.00


Ultimate Coastal Road Trips : Australia - Lee Atkinson

RRP $45.00


Best Day Walks Japan : Lonely Planet Travel Guide : 1st Edition - Lonely Planet Travel Guide
England : Lonely Planet Travel Guide : 12th Edition - Lonely Planet Travel Guide
Flinders Ranges Atlas & Guide - Hema Maps Australia

RRP $49.95


Classic French Recipes - Ginette Mathiot

RRP $74.95


Galah : Stories of life outside the city - Annabelle Hickson


RRP $69.99


Rambling Man : My Life on the Road - Billy Connolly

RRP $49.99


London : Lonely Planet Travel Guide : 13th Edition - Lonely Planet Travel Guide
Great Britain Planning Map : Lonely Planet Country Map - Lonely Planet
Europe Planning Map : Lonely Planet Country Map - Lonely Planet

RRP $19.99


Ocean Pools : 75 pools across Australia for saltwater swimmers - Chris Chen
Ultimate 4WD Tracks: Australia : Ultimate - Anthony Ham

RRP $45.00


Paris: Through a Fashion Eye : Special Edition - Megan Hess

RRP $42.00


Reykjavik City Map : Lonely Planet Travel Guide : 2nd Edition - Lonely Planet